Progress report

Discussion in 'The Smoking Lounge' started by Johnny Dingo, Feb 27, 2012.

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  1. Johnny Dingo

    Johnny Dingo Writer of wrongs

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    Well, it’s been a while since I last posted. I’m a lurker by nature and tend not to comment on things I know next to nothing about, and that certainly applies here. But I have been hovering around the forum and have found quite a few helpful posts and threads that have aided me in this new interest.

    I now own five pipes: a bent MM Legend, a straight MM Country Gentleman, A straight MM hardwood, a briar basket pipe (which I think is a bent billiard, but I’m not sure), and a Grabow Omega. All my MM’s smoke wonderfully, especially the cobs. The basket pipe gurgles like a sedated mental patient, though. I’ve been trying a few thing with it, smoking slower and drying the toby a bit more before I pack it. Still gurgles though. I’m using it anyway to keep up rotation. I just got the Omega on Saturday, and I really like the bit on it. I’m still breaking it in, but I sure do like the look of the pipe. There are a few Grabows that I’m thinking of getting. I think that these and the cobs are going to be my main smokers, as I’m about a thousand years away from having the cabbage to buy a Peterson or the like. I know Grabows are a bargain pipe, but at this early stage in my hobby, I cannot justify spending more than $25-30 on a pipe.

    My tobacco selections have been growing. I got some Captain Black White and Half & Half. Both smoke well enough for me and I can see these two being my regular selections for a while. I’ve tried a few blends from the local tobacconists, but I don’t yet have the palate to make any meaningful distinctions in flavor. There are subtle differences, yes, but I’m liking the cheaper, drug-store stuff fine for now. Half & Half in my Country Gentleman is sublime. I know there are many that think it should be graded as a chemical weapon, but the stuff is doing its thing for me so I’m sticking to it. I figure by the time I’m able to afford the higher-end tobies, I’ll have gone through a mess of the cheap stuff and I’ll appreciate the flavors of the more expensive blends all the more. Or, I’ll stick to the cheap stuff.

    A friend of mine also loaned me a mess of toby from Boswell's. Good stuff. The "Christmas Cookie" is easily my favorite. I can see that stuff going into regular rotation. I'll put them on the list for future purchases.
    My advice to other noobs is thus: keep it cheap at first. Get your technique down and don’t get sucked into things you’ll regret. It’s not a race to get as much stuff as the folks around here that have collections and tobacco cellars that look like a tobacconist’s stock room. You’ll get there eventually if the fates decree. If you have the ducats to start off with some Dunhills and 40 tins of high-grade leaf, then shine on, you crazy diamond. But it’s not really necessary. Do your research and don’t be afraid to try new things. Even things that some others think are a waste of money. Like Grabows and Half & Half ;).

    I’m having a blast starting out, and I’d like to thank this forum for their knowledge and for just being a really cool place to hang out.
     
  2. t-bear

    t-bear Well-Known Member

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    Start slow....very good advice! I have a substantial collection of pipes and tobacco....but I've been at it for 50+ years! Take your time. find what pleases you and focus on that. The toughest part is keeping PAD & TAD in check!
     
  3. Jussto

    Jussto Active Member

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    Glad you're enjoying the hobby, and making progress!

    There's nothing in the world wrong with a Grabow or a cob. Cobs get a lot of good press around here, so I'll put in a little plug for Grabows. These things are American made, reasonably priced, and many times just as good a smoker as you can ask for. I love an open draw, so I smoke their filter pipes without the filter. There's a huge diversity in what they've produced over the years, and their estates can be had for a song on e-bay, often in inexpensive lots; perfect for practicing your restoration skills. They also have a couple of products that I've not seen in drugstores, like the Royalton bent bulldog I picked up a few weeks ago, a great smoker for about 30 bucks, with a nice (if kind of orange) lucite stem that I can clench without worrying about chewing up.

    There have been countless pipers that decided that a Grabow or a cob and an OTC blend were exactly what they wanted out of their pipe smoking experience. You may find that you continue to feel that way, or you may try other things along the way, the point is to enjoy it and it seems that's what you're doing!:thu2:

    Here's one of my favorite Grabows, a straight Rhodesian, to be dedicated to Kickin' Chicken when it comes in, an awesome smoker for less than 10 bucks.
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Johnny Dingo

    Johnny Dingo Writer of wrongs

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    I know that Royalton you're talking about. Lovely piece. One that I'm definately going to acquire.

    I hope I didn't come off sounding like I think high-end pipes and tobies are a waste of money. I really think that there are differences in the way pipes perform and tobaccos taste. I just skew towards the cheap at first then branch out eventually. I've made the mistake in the past of starting a hobby and buying a bunch of stuff that I can't afford and rarely use.
     
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  5. dmkerr

    dmkerr PG- free since '83! Moderator

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    It's a good plan. But tobaccos and pipes also make good trading fodder. I know of few people around here that ever got stuck with something they didn't want.

    And don't worry about commenting about things you know nothing about. It's never stopped me! :D
     
  6. Preacher1611

    Preacher1611 Active Member

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    I love the 2 Grabows I've owned, one is now lost to the world of I have no idea where it went, but the one I still got I love! And cobs are awesome! And I think Kaywoodie makes an awesome pipe, and, aw heck just buy what you like! The plan you got going sounds great to me! ;)
     
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  7. BrokeSmoker

    BrokeSmoker Member

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    Thats what I was thinking...about me...not you


    I think your take on the hobby...habit...hobbit? is a good and wise one however I differ because I am a "cry once" kind of guy in that I am aquiring my petersons and savinellis (among others, but those two are in the mix) off the bat and intend on reaching a grand total of 6 ( #5 will be here wednesday) and then stopping only to buy new pipes occasionally, not because I think that pipes like Grabows are inferior just that I intend to smoke these pipes for the rest of my life and while a grabow would last just as long but I would probably look at it and wish it were a pete so I got a pete.
     
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  8. cobbsmoker

    cobbsmoker Active Member

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    Glad you're enjoying pipe smoking, I have smoked cobs and DG's for over 12 years, both are good choices for pipes. :th1:
     
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  9. Steve Dennis

    Steve Dennis Member

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    It sounds like you are off to a great start! I have heard great things about the Grabows, inexpensive pipes which smoke well, I might just pick one up one of these days myself. The basket pipe might have a misdrilling issue, if that is the case it could be remedied fairly easily with a little pipe mud.
     
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  10. Johnny Dingo

    Johnny Dingo Writer of wrongs

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    Pipe mud. Guess it's time to test to PSF search engine.

    Seriously, the thing sounds like I snorkeled with it.
     
  11. Lestrade

    Lestrade Active Member

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    Welcome and glad you're enjoying pipe smoking and are posting here Johnny!
     
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  12. RTOdhner

    RTOdhner Well-Known Member

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    Many a pipe smoker has gone through life with nothing more than a Dr. G, a cob, and a pouch of OTC tobacco, so you're in fine company.

    It sounds like a good start, and a good philosophy. With the exception of the "Toxic Triplets" (Paladin, Mixture 79, and Half & Half), I've yet to meet a blend that I don't somehow like. (Now that I think about it, that Tobacco Galleria cherry blend is pretty damn foul, too). As far as pipes go, if it's well-constructed then it's a good pipe regardless of who made it. And if you like the pipe and tobacco (even if it is, ugh, Half & Half :rolleyes:) then it's a good smoking experience. Smoke and enjoy, my friend. Smoke and enjoy.
     
  13. Bear84

    Bear84 Member

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    There's no rules, no secret handshake you have to learn. Just do what works for you. If all you can swing is a $20 Grabow and a pouch of Half & Half but you're happy then that's all that matters. One thing around here is you're in good company! Just like racin' "run what ya brung"! What I've found is I enjoy smoking Prince Albert out of my MM just as much as I enjoy smoking a pound of Frog Morton out of my Freehand Nording. It's all about the R&R and taking a break from life's dumptruck of b.s.
     
  14. Steve Dennis

    Steve Dennis Member

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    It's a mixture of ash and water. If the draught hole is above the bottom of the bowl moisture can build up and cause the gurgling. You can build up the bottom of the chamber with the pipe mud and once it has hardened it will create a "new bottom" and this could solve your problem.
     
  15. Artistik

    Artistik Active Member

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    +1 My grandfather smoked pipes most of his life and all he owned was drugstore pipes in which he smoked Edgeworth RR. I have Savs, Nordings and Standwells in which I smoke Boswells Pipers Pleasure and an English blend from my local tobacconist. However, I have recently discovered the MM Cobs and Carter Hall. Thats what I smoke during the work week. Cheaper aint worser!
     
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  16. RTOdhner

    RTOdhner Well-Known Member

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    Exactly. Sometimes we can get so caught up in special blends and pricey briars or meers that we forget that the original proposition is R&R, a break from the rat race, and maybe some time to chase our thoughts. I do this just as well with a cob full of SWR as I do a Pete full of Squadron Leader. I like the option of having both choices., but I do far more smoking with the former than I do the latter.
     
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  17. Johnny Dingo

    Johnny Dingo Writer of wrongs

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    I feel I should build on my first post a little, especially given my state of mind this morning.

    Keeping things simple and cheap at first, while an admirable and frugal endeavor, does exactly nothing to curb PAD or TAD.

    My usual tobacco shop is a 24-hour newstand that has a pretty good selection of estate pipes and Dr. Grabows. It is located down the way from where I work. Right now, I am doing everything short of tying myself to my office chair in an effort to prevent me ducking out and buying a Grabow and a pouch of Carter Hall or something. I've dealt with junkies that exhibit better self control.

    If I can make it past lunch, I'll be too busy to scarper off to the store and spend money I don't really have. MUST WAIT TILL NEXT MONTH. MUST HAVE MONEY FOR FOOD AND RENT.
     
  18. cobbsmoker

    cobbsmoker Active Member

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    All you need is a pipe or two, a pouch of tobacco, a lighter, pipe nail and a pack of pipe cleaners to enjoy a smoke, nothing more, nothing less, and remember the old saying, a fool and his money are soon parted, don't be a casualty of forum enablers! ;)
     
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  19. Johnny Dingo

    Johnny Dingo Writer of wrongs

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    The enablers aren't really the problem. It's more this fool, right here, and his lack of money. :snork:
     
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